I find a black egg in the gutter.
It weighs as heavy as iron.
Vague fears have the heart in a flutter.
I pick it up. Someone is crying.
The black egg could be a bad omen.
It would take an elephant to hatch.
Through an open window a phone rings.
There’s warmth in the air, and I catch
the thrill of the first nightingale,
so clearly I am transparent.
It brings back the self without fail.
I hear what’s more real than apparent.
When the birds fall silent it gives pause.
I’m seen through by invisible eyes.
I put the black egg back where it was.
The song starts again. The spirits rise.
The New Clochard in Town
The new clochard sees himself in the glass
of the bakery, almost a mirror.
Having more than is needed on his back,
though not a big dog, he is bent over,
and his head is naked as a tortoise
on a rare outing from the carapace.
The greasy beard is downy as a boy’s.
I think he sees it as a stranger’s face.
Out of the corner of his eye a stare,
like a fly in the ointment, fixes mine.
Thought the pupils are the stock blood agar,
the whites are clear (he’s still on bottled wine).
I fumble for small change. No. He wants me
ticked off for invasion of privacy.
The Revenge of Alzheimers
Life is funny in part. I still can smile wanly.
There’s no call to lose heart at what is beyond me.
The brain’s not what it was. That’s true. And just as well.
The world seen through a gauze is devoid of detail
to pick on. The general effect is as certain
as hitting a blank wall. One of us will remain
intact. It seems to me on the other side of
the crash, the family have lost patience with love.
What’s a scream about this is the contradiction
between what’s said and is felt. I think I’ve licked them.
‘His treatment of en-
jambment was neat-
ly handled. Foot by
foot he puts his fin-
ger on the spot. Ye-
I am talking to you in a dream.
You put me in the wrong by not replying.
I try again, and end up crying,
‘Don’t do this to me’. A change of scene.
I run around from pillar to post
hoping for a word. It spells trouble.
And sure enough I’m locked in a cell
with somebody who could be your ghost.
The writing on the wall is not mine.
Still the words are exactly the same,
though out of order. If I knew your name,
I would scratch it and get you to sign.
I am tying knots in a blanket
to jump down into the prison sewers.
‘Being dead is like this.’ The voice is yours.
‘The past’s a rat-trap. The future’s not yet.’
The way out is in. There’s no exit.
The deadness in the air is a truce.
I hear a whisper, and it’s good news,
‘Not to worry. You’ll get used to it’.
On dry earth
set yourself on fire,
and leap through the air
to land in water,
merging all four in one